And what of Lawyers?

When I decided to attend law school, and throughout the process, many friends and even my own parents jokingly asked what I planned to do after the Second Coming of Christ and during His Millenial reign, when lawyers would “no longer be needed.” The underlying assumption, of course, was that dirty sleazy lawyers would either be destroyed or changed from their evil and dishonest ways, and besides that, since people would want to live peacably with each other, lawyers would no longer be needed to advocate in disputes. What, then, shall become of lawyers during the Millenium? Are we going to be an extinct breed? Having no other skills (you know, like numbchuck skills, bow-hunting skills, computer hacking skills, etc.), are we lawyers doomed to become the idlers who will be cast out of a consecrated society since we will be able to contribute nothing?

I highly doubt it. Personally, I believe there will be PLENTY of work for us lawyers to do. First of all, when Christ reigns I am certain there will still be laws. There will still be a government. There will still be business. While we may not have the heinous crimes and contentious disputes which so starkly divide us today, there will still be a need to administer things legally and lawfully. Although Christ could do it all, I am certain that He will still allow us to participate in administering His Kingdom. Lawyers truly are uniquely trained to understand, administer, and interpret (and find!) legal code. Thus, lawyers could still have plenty of work to do in administering the laws of the Kingdom of God.

More importantly, I believe that lawyers could have an important, even essential spiritual work to do. After all, Jesus plays a very lawyerly role between us and our Heavenly Father. Indeed, he is our “advocate with the Father, who is pleading [our] cause before him.” (D&C 45:3). Lawyers (at least litigators) can and should excel in pleading the cause of persons before earthly tribunals. Why could not this skill than be used before a Heavenly Tribunal?

In His Church, Christ often allows us, His children, to act as proxy for others. Think about temple work! If He were to authorize it, why could we not then act as proxies for Him in “pleading [their] cause before [the Father]?”

Indeed, we learn that when the scriptures talk of Christ going and preaching to the “spirits in prison” (see 1 Peter 3:19), it was really Christ by proxy. For He

went not in person among the wicked and disobedient who had rejected the truth, . . . but . . . from among the righteous, he organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead.

(D&C 138:29-30). If “he went and preached unto the Spirits in prison” through the proxies of those he “organized,” “clothed with power,” and “commissioned,” then He can and very well may plead our cause by proxy as well. And who better than lawyers to commission for this task, many of whom are trained as professional advocates?

Indeed, I think lawyerly skills will still be relevant and sought after even in the millenium. So give us a break!

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14 Responses to And what of Lawyers?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the offer, but I’d prefer a perfect being (e.g., Christ) to be my advocate with the Father.

    I’ve wondered about how the Law/Word will go forth during the millienium. I assumed that we’d still have a lay (i.e., unpaid) ministry, including unpaid resolution disputes (something about taking a problem with you brother to the local church, not the local government).

    Perhaps none of us will be “paid” in the normal sense of the word. I hope that most of the efforts of mankind/employment will be in the sciences (learn of things above the earth, below the earth, etc.) 

    Posted by Daylan

  2. Anonymous says:

    And He will be. We only serve as a proxy.

    and who said anything about getting paid? I was talking about a use for skills, not a way to get an income. 

    Posted by Jordan

  3. Anonymous says:

    The real people out of work will be the scriptural scholars:)  

    Posted by Ben S.

  4. Anonymous says:

    mayhap we’ll go back to the days of Bishop’s courts/justice. out of a job? no prob, i’d rather run a chocolate shoppe anyways…and I know John would rather do academics; as you might also…  

    Posted by lyle

  5. Anonymous says:

    Nice thoughts Lyle.

    However, I would never want to return to academia. EVER! That’s why I went from a Ph.D. program into law school.

    I guess that we’ll be doing the Lord’s work, no matter what He assigns us. I just want to be able to pull my own weight…  

    Posted by Jordan

  6. Anonymous says:

    Jordan, this is truly hilarious. Just yesterday in seminary we talked about the Law of Consecration. One of the fun activities was speculating on what jobs would cease to exist. My two students are siblings and their father is an attorney so I asked them to go home that night and ask their dad what he thought, if he thought he’d still have a job. So it became one of their FHE discussions and he concluded that he’d have a job still (mostly for your reasons above) but suggested that I’d be out of a job (graphic designer) because “there would be no need for product differentiation, elevation, or promotion (advertising)” Too bad he doesn’t realize graphic designers design books (among thousands of other things along with making the world a more beautiful place:). Such narrowmindedness and self-agrandizement sadden me for the millennium.  

    Posted by Rusty Clifton

  7. Anonymous says:

    Rusty…you are joking re: narrowmindedness, right?

    Jordan…are you sure academia wouldn’t be different in the “new” world? i.e. lacking the things you currently find distasteful?  

    Posted by lyle

  8. Anonymous says:

    Lyle, are YOU joking? Of course I was kidding. I wonder if sarcasm will exist in the new millennium. 

    Posted by Rusty

  9. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been through a similar question, though. What will be the role of artists and musicians in Zion? Since the arts are often percieved as luxury, will there be any full-time artists in the United Order? Or will music and art only exist as an after-hours avocation?

    MRKH

     

    Posted by Mark Hansen

  10. Anonymous says:

    Your United Order sounds more like Stalinism! 

    Posted by john fowles

  11. Anonymous says:

    I think part of the skepticism of lawyers in Zion comes from the fact that most people think of law as a method of social control. The idea is that in the Millenium no one will misbehave and hence there will be no need for the machinery of social control represented by the law. However, law is more than a mechanism of social control. It also performs important coordinating functions, as well as providing a medium through which people control and order their own lives (think about something like the law of trusts or much of the law of contracts). Perhaps law in its most overtly regulatory guise will shrivell away, but one might still use law as a means of coordination. 

    Posted by Nate Oman

  12. Anonymous says:

    Litigation might also wane if people are living peaceably with each other. Alternative Dispute Resolution might be all that is needed for many issues.

    What about contract law, though? I can imagine that it will still be necessary as a means of recording one’s obligations and consideration, rather than as a means of holding one to such, as in the telestial world. (That is, people will honor their obligations of their own integrity and volition.) That doesn’t mean that disputes won’t or can’t arise, such as perhaps a miscommunication about obligation, but such would likely be easily resolvable when all people are living according to higher standards. 

    Posted by john fowles

  13. Anonymous says:

    Until I read your post, I always assumed lawyers would just need to be retrained. But the training they received now really could play a helpful role – I think I can accept your premise. But as a registered patent agent, I can’t help but think that patent systems might be much less needed. If we’re all inventing and seeking divine revelation for needed inventions, won’t we be freely sharing – publishing, rather than patenting?

    And pray that divorce lawyers and tax lawyers (tithing lawyers?) will be rare. 

    Posted by Jeff Lindsay

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm… Since I am going into patent litigation, I guess that might be something to worry about… 

    Posted by Jordan Fowles

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